ONE Championship’s Victoria Lee has some big shoes to fill as she embarks on her MMA career.
Turning pro earlier this year despite being just 16-years old, Lee is the younger sister of ONE champions Angela (atomweight) and Christian (lightweight). Victoria, 1-0 after winning her debut, returns at Battleground this Friday, where she takes on China’s Wang Liuping.
In Lee’s debut back in February, she submitted the much more experienced Sunisa Srisen via rear-naked choke in the second round. Despite admitting to some nerves during the fight, Victoria noted during the ONE: Battleground media day this week that her debut “was everything I expected it to be and more. It was an amazing experience, and I enjoyed it so much. It was so much fun.”
While other fighters have turned pro early, Lee may be one of the highest-profile athletes to make the jump prior to 18, thanks to the family legacy. Lee herself knew almost as soon as she hit her teens that fighting was something she wanted to do for her career.
“We grew up training martial arts for self defense, but as I got older and started competing in more tournaments, specifically the world championships for juniors, that’s when I decided this is something that I wanted to do,” she explained, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “I would say around 13, 14, after we won our world championships in Rome, that’s when I decided that this is something I want to do for my career.”
Already an aunt to a pair of baby nieces, could there be another generation of Lee fighters on the way? “No way! No way. Those two baby girls are so adorable and so talented. They have so many options available to them, they can be anything they choose to be,” she told Cageside Press during her time with the media. “No way will we force them down this path, and both my brother and sister are so protective, I don’t think they would allow them to fight.”
Lee admitted ahead of Battleground that she had a hard time finding tape on her opponent. That said, she’s been focused on sharpening her skills regardless of who she’s fighting. “Since the last time I fought, I’ve made lots of improvements,” Lee stated, adding “we’ve gone back to the tape, and we’ve worked on improving every aspect of my game. My striking, my wrestling, my grappling, transitions, everything. So going into this next match, you’re going to see lots of improvements, and it’s going to be an exciting one.”
Watch the full ONE Championship: Battleground media day appearance from Victoria Lee above.